Lisa Barkenhagen. Volunteer in Ishinomaki

I rescheduled my flight to Mexico and back to Ishinomaki again. People were so surprised and they called me as “crazy girl” … well maybe I am. Somehow I was addicted to be there to help animals.

When I was at the shelter, I saw lots of people from all over the Japan. Such as vet, vet tech, groomer, dog trainer, pet shop owner, president of some NPO (related to animals) and so on. I don’t have any professional license or back ground about animals, I just have a little experience as volunteer at the local animal shelter in CA. But it didn’t matter. There were MANY varieties of work to do. I worked for dogs but there were lots of cats, lots of donated supplies to organize, cook the meal for everyone and so on. And I am sure the shelter will be there a couple more years. They absolutely need continuing manpower.

Also I am pretty sure it will take at least year or 2 to clean the devastated area. It’s still LOTS of mess everywhere. But they keep moving forward little by little. They also need continuing manpower.

I believe the most important thing is keep thinking of them and keep trying to help them. They need a house, they need a car, they need a stable life that they used to have.

Since I came back to Mexico, I am struggling. I am not sure what I can do for them from here. But I visited some junior and elementary school mere in Monterrey, and talked what I saw and felt in Ishinomaki with showing the pictures that I took. I believe they understood what happened in Japan and how people fight with this tough time. I mean it is not just for Japan, I wanted to tell them that all the human need to help each other.

Lisa Barkenhagen

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